Vortex Studio 2019a now available

I’m proud to announce the first Vortex® Studio release of the year, Vortex Studio 2019a. It's a significant update to our industry-leading software suite for real-time simulation and virtual prototyping of complex mechanical systems. Vortex Studio 2019a adds an upgraded simulation engine, enhanced graphics, and additional sensor extensions, as well as revised software packages and subscription terms. 


(NOTE: because of changes in software packages, your licensing keys may need an update if you install the 2019a release. Please contact your account manager.)


Solver Enhancements


Moving to improve simulation capabilities and optimize computing resources, Vortex Studio 2019a has updated its patented parallel solver—providing users with major performance enhancements. In some cases, we’re seeing a 50% reduction in processing time; users will notice this mostly in large scenes with many rigid bodies. The updated solver has been further optimized to reduce memory overhead. 



A new Automatic Solver Groups extension has also been added to Vortex Studio, removing the manual work of optimizing how components are grouped—streamlining the workflow of moving from simulation design to deployment. 


Simulated Sensor Extensions


As part of the drive to allow advanced engineering teams to integrate sensors into systems simulation, three new extensions are added to the Sensors library—the Part Distance Sensor, Geometry Distance Sensor, and Depth Sensor (see below). 



The first two provide real-time distance information between parts or collision geometries (useful for all sort of scripts and metrics!). The latter returns a depth map that can be used as a basic lidar-like sensor. 


Upgraded Graphics Capabilities


In Vortex Studio 2019a, multiple graphics elements—and their controls—have been augmented to allow for more granular—and truer-to-life—scenario development.


Firstly, the lighting halos system has been completely redesigned for better performance and ease of use. Lights placed into the simulation now come with a built-in Halo extension, customizable to each light. This makes night-time and sub-sea scenes more accurate, with powerful flood lamps showing different behaviours than small on-dashboard LED indicators. 



Similarly, for scenes involving inclement weather or underwater murk, the fog feature has been improved with a new mathematical model, allowing for fog height and fade to be set independently.


For vehicles, a new Vehicle Trace extension is available, smoothly producing tracks caused by movement across the terrain—including wheels, tracks, or any equipment that scrapes the ground, such as farming implements or the teeth of an excavator bucket.


New Subscription-based Packages


Finally, in an effort to make the process of adding Vortex Studio to workflow as seamless as possible, the pricing and packaging models have been revised to more flexible, workflow-focused packages on an annual subscription model, providing teams with the option to add tools as needed, with room to scale capabilities as required. For more information on software packages and pricing, please contact Vortex Studio sales


For the full list of features added to Vortex Studio 2019a and hardware compatibility, please refer to the complete release notes. Also, don’t forget to post your questions, feedback, or ideas on our Community forum!


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